A striking, albeit unlikely couple on Mönchsberg Mountain is a distinctive feature of Salzburg's impressive townscape: the medieval water tower built in 1892 situated right next to the puristic Museum der Moderne Salzburg, which was opened in 2004. On November 30, 2014 the former water tower was ceremonially opened. The Museum der Moderne has built spacious quarters there for art education and a studio apartment for artist-in-residence.
The building is dedicated to Amalie Redlich (Budapest 1868–Łódź 1941), the rightful owner of the painting Litzlberg am Attersee (1915) by Gustav Klimt, which was part of the museum's holdings. In 2011, the valuable painting was restituted to Georg Jorisch (1928 Vienna–2012 Quebec), the grandson of Amalie Redlich and heir of this work of art. In recognition of the swift and unbureaucratic restitution of the painting Georg Jorisch made a generous donation to the museum for the conversion of the former water tower which was named Amalie-Redlich-Tower in memory of his grandmother.
The plan to integrate the water tower into the Museum der Moderne Salzburg ensemble is as old as the first drafts for the museum’s new building on the Mönchsberg. The museum had sought for years to secure the necessary funding for the conversion of the historic structure.The refurbishment and interior construction of the tower were planned by Munich-based architects Friedrich Poerschke Zwink, who already designed the new building of the Museum der Moderne on Mönchsberg. The interiors of the Amalie-Redlich-Tower were completed with generous support from additional sponsors: the Society of the Friends of the Museum der Moderne Salzburg, the Lions Club Salzburg, VITRA Ges.m.b.H., and Einrichtungshaus Scheicher GmbH.
With ca. 3,000 sq ft of usable floor space on seven levels, the Amalie-Redlich-Tower boasts gorgeous rooms for workshops and other events. Ca. 11,000 children, teenagers, and adults participate in the Museum der Moderne Salzburg’s art education programs every year. Moreover, the Amalie-Redlich-Tower accommodates a studio and apartment with a total of ca. 970 sq ft on three floors where international artists-in-residence will live and work. The museum’s agreement with Georg Jorisch stipulates that a Canadian artist will be invited to come to Salzburg for three months every year.
More historical details
In 2011, the Province of Salzburg restituted the painting Litzlberg am Attersee (1915) by Gustav Klimt to Georg Jorisch, the grandson of Amalie Redlich and heir to this valuable work of art. Amalie Redlich acquired the painting from the estate of her brother Victor and her sister-in-law Paula Zuckerkandl before 1938. In 1941, Amalie Redlich and her daughter Mathilde were deported to Poland and murdered. The Gestapo confiscated the painting and other art objects. It passed through the hands of the Salzburg art dealer and collector Friedrich Welz and into the collections of the Salzburger Landesgalerie in 1944 and the Salzburger Residenzgalerie in 1952. In 1982, Litzlberg am Attersee became part of the holdings of the Moderne Galerie and Graphische Sammlung Rupertinum (now known as the Museum der Moderne Salzburg), where the painting was a centerpiece of the museum’s collection. In 2011, provenance research established without doubt that Georg Jorisch, Amalie Redlich’s grandson and sole heir, was the rightful owner of this work.